Jeff Wilson’s Experience
Geography, Nipissing University
I’ve worked as a contract faculty member for 2 years. I currently teach Topics in GIS Application, Introduction to Human Geography Labs, Introduction to Physical Geography Labs. I love my job because I get to share my own experiences and knowledge with students to help prepare them for the next steps in life. I’ll never forget when one of my students randomly sent me a video about great teachers, and said that video reminded her of me. I’m extremely proud of the time I published a paper from my Masters thesis.
If contract professors became full-time faculty, we could offer so much more to universities, students and Canadian research. As a full-time faculty member, I would be able to build and develop my courses over time to make them that much better. It would also mean less time spent worrying about job security, and more time spent improving my abilities as an educator. On a more personal level, I would have the opportunity to live free of worry.
Each week, I travel 15 kms to get to work and do numerous hours of additional unpaid work to support my students. In return, I have some dental and medical benefits. This is on top of <$10,000 in student debt I owe after studying at Nipissing University to become an expert in Geography, Environmental Science, GIS and Remote Sensing. My current income is sufficient in comparison to some, but not nearly as much as others who do similar work. I currently have limited job security, which makes it hard to commit fully to my career, knowing that no one has committed fully to me.
Overall, I want to tell you that contract faculty accomplish as much in a day and make as much of a difference in the lives of students as anyone. The least we deserve is peace of mind.